West Seattle, Washington
At 8 pm, Ladder 13 pulled out of its bay at Seattle Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights, lights flashing. But it wasn’t heading out on a call. At fire stations all over the city, right at that moment, other SFD apparatus that weren’t on calls did the same, in tribute to fallen firefighters.
It was a citywide followup to SFD’s annual ceremony earlier in the day remembering its fallen firefighters at the downtown monument inspired by the four who died in the Pang warehouse arson in 1995. They are among more than 50 Seattle firefighters who died from line-of-duty injuries/illnesses, dating back to 1899.
4:45 PM: Thanks for the tips. Police are investigating gunfire reported this past half-hour in Sunrise Heights. Shell casings have been found. No victims reported so far. We’re at the scene and will be updating.
4:54 PM: The photo was taken at 32nd and Webster [map]; police tell us they found “several” casings. They also confirm no reports of anyone being hit/hurt. The only description information they have so far is that this may have involved a “red car and gold car.” They’re about to leave the scene.
5:04 PM: Or maybe not. Dispatch has just told officers someone just called in to report finding another casing, in the alley in the 3100 block of SW Webster.
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Police say it’s possible this incident and the later gunfire in High Point are related. Their summary says, “Witnesses advised that a red sedan was following a white sedan from behind, heading westbound on SW Webster St. Witnesses said an unknown suspect from the red sedan was firing shots toward the white sedan. After hearing the shots, other witnesses reported that a gold sedan was seen speeding away from the area.” If you have any information, the incident # is 22-106468.
The photo and report are from Sara in Sunrise Heights:
This Volvo has been sitting (in this spot) for over 2 weeks. It’s been reported to the city but I thought I would let folks know since, when my car was stolen in front of my house, it took the city over a month to let me know, when it was sitting only 10 blocks away!
We’ve omitted the exact location so as not to make it a theft target. You can contact us for more info if you or someone you know is teh owner.
1:26 AM: So far we have two reports that power’s out in Arbor Heights. Flickered here in Upper Fauntleroy, Not on City Light map yet. Anyone else out?
1:29 AM: Add Fauntlee Hills.
1:32 AM: The outage is mapped now – 4,880 customers, mostly southwest West Seattle.
1:39 AM: No cause yet but a few people report it was preceded by a “boom.” We noticed the wind kicking up. (The forecast was updated again after 9:30 pm and notes “Gusts to 30 mph after midnight.”)
2:24 AM: One hour in. No word on the cause yet.
2:31 AM: Just got a text about restored power in Arbor Heights. (added) Commenters from other areas, too.
2:36 AM: Map shows the outage is down to just under 1,000 customers. Mostly Sunrise Heights, and a bit of Gatewood, plus a stretch along SW Holden reaching into Highland Park. Updated map:
3:43 AM: And after a little more than two hours, everybody else is back on. We’ll follow up later this morning with SCL regarding the cause.
11:37 AM: Just got that info from SCL’s Julie Moore: “The cause was a large tree that came down on our lines just south of SW Juneau and 26th Ave SW. Initially the outage at 1:22 a.m. impacted 4,879 customers, but within about an hour we were able to determine it was safe to re-energize a large section of our system as the crews continued to patrol and locate the issue. Once they did, the remaining 982 customers were restored by 3:30 a.m.”
Sunrise Heights is rocking the holiday-display world this year! Tonight we have another display from that area – created by Jenny, whose spouse sent the photos:
I wanted to share with you some photos of my wife’s light display this year. We are at 7341 34th Ave SW [map]. There are retro cutouts of Peanuts, Rudolph, and a yeti.
The flag pole is wrapped like a candy cane. And there is Grinch staring ominously out the window by our Christmas tree.
(The yeti, we believe, is Rudolph’s pal Bumble.) Got a display to suggest – yours or someone else’s? We’re showing them nightly through New Year’s Eve. firstname.lastname@example.org, with or without photos – thank you!
Tonight’s West Seattle Christmas lights photo is from Sara, who wanted to be sure the man behind the famous Sunrise Heights treetop lights got a shoutout this season:
I wanted to see if you may be able to give some recognition in the Blog to my neighbor, Jeff Knudson. Jeff has been climbing up (updated) 3 trees (2 firs, 1 hemlock) every year for the past THIRTY years, putting up/maintaining holiday lights at the very top of the trees at the corner of 32nd and Othello [map]. It’s such an amazing, unique, and beautiful tradition for all in the neighborhood to witness!
Sara says one of the trees is on Jeff’s property, and the other two belong to neighbors. We’ve featured the light-topped trees before but did not previously know who was responsible. If you go see them – note that 32nd has some great ground-level displays nearby too (including this one we featured last week).
P.S. If you have, or see, lights that you want to share with the community, email us at email@example.com, with or without photos – thank you! Every display we feature is listed in our West Seattle Holiday Guide. You can browse the archives (past years, too) here.
You’ve got two hours until sunset … and almost two hours left with Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) in the house at Best of Hands Barrelhouse (35th/Webster), for the launch of No Surrender, a new brew with proceeds benefiting organizations working to save live-music venues. Outside, adjacent to the Best of Hands patio, visit the TRG table for $5 raffle tickets to turn up the volume on the cause – you could win a swag bag with a pint glass, gift card, and more. And if you haven’t had dinner yet, the Taqueria La Original truck is there too:
What about the beer, you ask? BoH describes it: “NO SURRENDER HAZY IPA features a boatload of STRATA & SABRO hops on a generous, pillowy body. Combining our mutual love for The Boss & for live music, this beer’s name is a nod to the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. Our mission is to help the struggling independent music venues of WA state, devastated like so many industries by the pandemic.We need the arts and music more than ever. We will see them resurrected. As the song says, ‘no retreat, baby, no surrender’.” The festivities are on until 9 pm.
Though their long-term future isn’t finalized yet, West Seattle still has three stretches of what the city calls “Stay Healthy Streets” – High Point/Sunrise Heights (map), Puget Ridge/Highland Park (map), and Alki Point (map; also known as a “Keep Moving Street” due to its park proximity). When these and others were launched citywide 11 months ago, SDOT explained them as streets closed to through traffic, to increase the chances people could walk, roll, or ride while safely distancing. The chosen routes were also chosen as convenient to neighborhood businesses. What the city did not do was restrict parking. But somebody along one of the original SHS stretches seems to think otherwise, leaving notes such as this one on parked cars:
The photo was sent by Nicholas Marianetti of nearby Best of Hands Barrelhouse, who posted in the WSB Community Forums about the “annoying note-leaver” almost six months ago, then emailed us this week to say it’s still happening. He and patrons of his business at 35th and Webster, one block west of the SHS, have received them. The note-leaver contends that Stay Healthy Streets is off-limits to “apartments, businesses, bus-takers.” That would be contrary to city policy that street parking is open to everyone, not just nearby residents. And SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson verified to WSB today that the note-taker’s contention is wrong;
Stay Healthy Streets are not restricted to residential parking only. Like any residential street, cut-thru traffic is discouraged but local access is allowed. Local access includes people who live or work on the street, are visiting people or local businesses, deliveries, waste pickup and emergency vehicles.
Marianetti says, “I don’t mind if someone wants to waste their time & resources doing this, but I am concerned that it can be harmful to my business as well as other local businesses by scaring potential customers away from being able to park, especially with all the construction currently going on. And as I mentioned before, I find these notes strewn about the street, sometimes in plastic baggies, causing more litter.” 35th/Webster has more than half a dozen businesses, occupying all four corners.
Thanks to the texter who sent the photo! That’s the latest signal-box portrait by West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen, this time celebrating local rock superstar Eddie Vedder. It’s at 35th/Webster, on the corner by Best of Hands Barrelhouse (WSB sponsor). You can scroll through our 2 1/2 years of coverage of his other local work here.
P.S. Vedder and his bandmates are featured by The New York Times today for their get-out-the-vote work.
Thanks to the tipster who texted that photo – West Seattle’s Fire Station 37 (35th/Holden) is now home to Ladder 13 as well as Engine 37. Four weeks ago, the city announced that extra SFD apparatus and crews would be stationed on this side of the Duwamish River because of the West Seattle Bridge closure – L13 in West Seattle, and Medic 26 at Station 26 in South Park. SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley confirms to WSB that both additions have arrived at their new locations, but their crews will be training for a few days before they’re fully ready to respond. (Our tipster says that for L13, for example, that’s 20 more people, to cover all shifts.)
(Seattle Fire Department photo of Ladder 13 in 2010)
Not long after the West Seattle Bridge‘s sudden shutdown, we and others started asking whether West Seattle would get additional SFD resources, as happened during the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project (east half of the bridge) in 2011-2012. The early answer was: It’s being discussed. New answer today: Yes. In addition to West Seattle-based Medic 32, SFD will station Medic 26, staffed with two paramedics, at Station 26 in South Park. And joining WS-based Ladder 11 will be an extra truck, Ladder 13, to be based at Station 37 in Sunrise Heights. The announcement says, “Beginning in June, these units will be in-service for responding to emergencies 24-hours per day, seven days a week.” (Ladder 13 was based at Station 11 in Highland Park during the SSV project.) The SFD announcement adds, “The new medic unit and ladder truck are coming from SFD’s reserve apparatus located at the City’s Fire Garage. The department will continue to have other apparatus on reserve to support scheduled maintenance and for any unforeseen mechanical issues. The funding required for staffing the two new units, apparatus maintenance and fuel, and room accommodations at the fire stations is approximately $2.5 million for the remainder of 2020 and will be covered from existing resources.”
Sent by Shawn:
I live in Sunrise Heights and I had a small fiberglass camper stolen out of the alley sometime early morning of the 18th. I wanted to report to you that even with everything going on right now, an officer arrived about 15 minutes after I called the non-emergency line to take a report. Luckily it had a flat tire, and no spare, so he said it probably couldn’t have gotten far and may leave marks in the road. He said he’d take a quick drive around to see if he could find it. About 15 minutes later, I received a call that it had been found about a half-mile away. It was near a van that a neighbor said showed up a couple nights earlier but did not belong to anyone living nearby and was filled with stuff and had a broken window. Not sure if it was a coincidence or if it was connected but the police were having it impounded. I wanted to share how thankful and impressed I was for the quick resolution and hard work done by the SPD even with all that is going on right now.
When you stop to think about it, the historic E.C. Hughes school at 7734 34th SW – now the home of Roxhill Elementary – really does look like a classic school building you might find in many locales. Today, it’s starring as a backdrop for a student film production. We went over to inquire after a texter first thought the people outside the school were protesting, and then told us it looked lke a “movie shoot.” The students are from the Seattle Film Institute.
1 person was taken to the hospital by private ambulance after that crash near (corrected) 30th and Holden this evening. The street was blocked off because a power line came down with the streetlight after the driver hit the pole.
Just hours after we visited The Best of Hands Brewery and Barrelhouse, looking ahead to its Friday grand opening (here’s our story from last night), the iconic cow has reappeared atop the 35th/Webster building. Thanks to the readers who tipped us! The Best of Hands website tells the cow’s backstory. (When the brewers took over the former John’s Corner Deli building, they promised it would stay, but it went out of view last spring because of the remodeling.)
As announced a month and a half ago, Friday (March 8th) is the big night for The Best of Hands Brewery and Barrelhouse (7500 35th SW) – its grand opening! The proprietors took a break from intensive preparations to invite media in tonight, so we stopped by for photos.
Above are Chris Richardson, Gregory Marlor, and Nicholas Marianetti. They’ll have 17 beers on tap when they open – 12 ar theirs.
Best of Hands is focused on “farmhouse and sour ales inspired by those of Belgium and France but with an emphasis on Washington state ingredients, mixed-culture fermentation, and some spontaneous fermentation.”
Best of Hands is not a restaurant, but food trucks will be visiting – Falafel Salam this Friday, Buddha Bruddah on Saturday, Plum Bistro on Sunday. Best of Hands is a 21+ space; hours will be 3 to 10 pm, Thursdays through Mondays.
P.S. If you’re wondering about the rooftop cow, inherited from the space’s previous tenant John’s Corner Deli – it’s not back in place yet, but, the proprietors tell us, soon!
ADDED TUESDAY: The cow’s return turned out to be REALLY soon – hours later!
Only one thing is crystal-clear on that security video: Only one minute elapsed between another vehicle pulling up alongside Christine‘s husband’s black 1995 Pathfinder, and a thief driving the Pathfinder away. It happened in Sunrise Heights early Saturday, and we just got the report and video from Christine late Monday night. We’re awaiting the plate # so we can add it, but there’s a distinguishing feature: “KU stickers on the back window.” If you see it, call 911.
Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
STOLEN CAR: Katharine‘s green 1999 Honda CR-V EX was stolen from the Westwood Village QFC parking lot last night (Sunday, November 25th) at 9 pm.
The plate starts with BJQ and the vehicle has bumper stickers “West Seattle” and “Plant-Powered.” SPD incident #18-440904. Call 911 if you see it.
STOLEN MAIL: From Morgan:
We returned on Sunday afternoon around 1:00 pm from the holiday weekend to discover our mail had been stolen. Our mailbox is a locked box, not a great one, and it was open and our mail was gone. A few hours later a nice neighbor returned it saying they found it in the gutter by 29th Ave SW and Myrtle. We are on 34th Ave SW and Webster Street in the Sunrise Heights neighborhood. Just wanted to get the word out since our neighbors’ cars were also vandalized (windows smashed) between Webster and Othello on 34th while we were out of town.
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: We usually don’t fully show graffiti vandalism.
The West Seattle residents who found this vandalism outside their homes contacted us about it and asked that we do show it.
They wonder if it has happened to anyone else.
The vandalism appeared behind their homes along an alley in Sunrise Heights – in red paint on a garage, “JEW,” and on the pavement, “F— JEW THIEVE.”
The residents believe it was painted overnight.
The residents say they are Jewish, but they haven’t had problems or threats and have no idea who would do this and why.
Police have been to the scene and photographed the vandalism (here’s background on hate-crime laws), and they are investigating. If you have any tips, call SPD.
TUESDAY UPDATE: We talked a little while ago by phone with the neighbor who first contacted us. She wanted to convey that they are all grateful for the expressions of support and offers of help, but neighbors painted over the vandalism soon after police had been there to investigate, and there’s nothing they really need. She also wanted to convey that the neighbors directly affected by the vandalism are of multiple faiths, including Judaism.
The playground built in summer sunshine was celebrated tonight during a break in the fall rain outside Roxhill Elementary‘s new home at EC Hughes in Sunrise Heights. Before the ceremonial ribbon was cut, Jenna Sandoval from Friends of Roxhill – parents and other community members who led the campaign to create the playground – told the story, along with Henry Luke, the artist who created a mural on the campus wall:
The celebration included pizza and sushi.
Though the school district spent an eight-figure sum on renovating EC Hughes, there was no money for a playground overhaul, so Friends of Roxhill led a campaign to make it happen, going back more than a year before this fall’s school move. The plan included a community-inspired mural. Their hard-fought successes along the way included getting a city Neighborhood Matching Fund grant and the volunteer work parties to build the playground
Four months after that work party – a ribbon-cutting party! Everyone is invited to Roxhill Elementary @ EC Hughes (34th/Holden) this Thursday for a celebration of what the community added to the renovation project before the school’s move – a playground and mural. Here’s the announcement:
Friends of Roxhill Elementary invites one and all to the grand opening ceremony for our Seattle Department of Neighborhoods-funded and community-built playground and a celebration of our new mural by artist Henry Luke on Thursday, October 25, at 5:30 p.m. at Roxhill at E.C. Hughes. We’ll meet by the playground behind the school. Parents and school community members are invited to continue on to curriculum night.
On June 2, more than 75 people came together to put together and install the playground equipment. Then, over the course of the summer, more than 50 volunteers installed and laid the safety surface and wood chips, and Henry painted the community-designed mural. Both projects are public amenities because of how they’re funded — that’s right, we can all play on the playground now!
To make it all happen, Friends of Roxhill engaged in a public process to select the playground vendor and held an open call for artists for the mural. The projects had to each go through the Landmarks Preservation Board, with multiple meetings required to gain approval. The whole project required the work of hundreds of community volunteers to be successful—if anyone at any time had faltered, it would not have come together in the short time it did. If you worked on the project in any way, please come help cut the ribbon and celebrate! You helped make this happen!
If you can’t make the event but would like to support Friends of Roxhill in another way, Roxhill teacher, parent, and FoRE member Shawna Patterson Lystra is running this November’s Seattle Marathon to raise money for the nonprofit. With a goal of $2,620 (like those 26.2 miles of the marathon), Ms. Lystra wants to raise money for field trips, materials and programs important for the Roxhill learning community. Check out her GoFundMe here.
Have questions about any of this? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support and generosity. See you on the playground!
Maybe you can help find this stolen bicycle:
Erin reports, “Please keep your eyes peeled for this bike. It was stolen from our back yard [30th/Webster]. Last seen Tuesday night. It’s been in our family since the ’80s. Schwinn Chameleon. Has old-school spokey-dokes on both wheels. Has three red reflectors in back.” We’ll add the police-report # when it’s available.
UPDATE: See comments – police found the bicycle!
On this date 92 years ago, Seattle Public Schools‘ Tom Redman told the 100+ people gathered to celebrate Roxhill Elementary’s new home, the Sunrise Heights school opened its doors as EC Hughes Elementary. Now, after $14 million in upgrades, it’s Roxhill at EC Hughes, and classes start tomorrow. “Welcome to THIS Roxhill,” declared principal Tarra Patrick, exuberantly.
While this morning’s ceremony honored the past – including an invitation to Hughes and Roxhill alums to stand (Redman noted the presence of a 1949 Hughes alum) – it also looked to the future. Not just the school’s future, but also the levies that SPS will send to the city’s voters in February. School Board president Leslie Harris (who represents West Seattle and South Park) lamented “levy confusion” among voters.
She also noted that one of the levies, BEX V (which has yet to be finalized – more on that in a separate story), is expected to include money for playgrounds, something that hopefully will alleviate the problem that forced the independent community group Friends of Roxhill to raise money to upgrade the Hughes playground, which wasn’t part of the renovation project. Friends of Roxhill president Shawna Patterson Lystra, a second-grade teacher at the school and parent of a third-grader, was also a speaker at today’s ceremony.
She hailed the school/community partnership, saying she was “excited about today and excited about what the future has in store for us.” New SPS superintendent Denise Juneau – attending what we believe was her first Seattle ribboncutting – also voiced excitement: “We are excited for this new chapter in the life of your school … Go, Roxhill Stars!”
We recorded all the speeches on video (added Tuesday evening):
Then it was on to the ribboncutting, with all the kids in the room invited to join the dignitaries (who included members of the project team, too):
Tours followed, starting along the hallway displaying reminders of Roxhill’s history as well as the renovations readying its students for a bright future:
We didn’t tag along for the rest of the tour – we brought you a look inside after the work was done earlier this summer. (Backstory on the Roxhill-to-Hughes move was also part of our preview published Monday.)